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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

July 8, 2016 (AM)

If you can not view the video,click here(Japanese Government Internet TV)
This video's audio is a provisional translation through live simultaneous interpretation.

Press Conference by the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]

Q&As

REPORTER : The military of the Republic of Korea (ROK) has announced that as a measure to strengthen its interception capabilities against North Korean ballistic missiles, it will introduce the United States’ Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. This move is expected to draw criticism from China, so can I ask for the view of the Government of Japan on this matter?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY HAGIUDA: I am aware that today the governments of the United States and the ROK announced a decision to deploy a THAAD missile defense system in the ROK. The ROK is Japan’s most important neighboring country, with which we share strategic interests. I am aware that discussions with regard to specific deployment plans are being conducted between the United States and the ROK. The Government of Japan supports this decision as the further advancement of U.S.-ROK cooperation will contribute to regional peace and stability.

REPORTER: What reaction does the Government expect from China?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY HAGIUDA: This deployment has been decided by the United States and the ROK and therefore from the position of a third country, I am not in a position to comment on this matter.

REPORTER: I have a question concerning the terrorist attack in Bangladesh. There are press reports that suggest that following this attack, an international anti-terrorism promotion headquarters is to be established, which will be headed by the Chief Cabinet Secretary. Could you tell us the truth behind these press reports?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY HAGIUDA: Following the recent terrorist attack in Bangladesh, the Prime Minister issued instructions for the Government to make all possible preparations for anti-terrorism measures both domestically and overseas. Based on these instructions, in the forum of the Headquarters for Promotion of Measures Against Transnational Organized Crime and Other Relative Issues and International Terrorism , the Government is preparing measures that will further bolster our efforts against terrorism and these are expected to be formulated in the near future.

REPORTER: Some of the expected outcomes of such measures could be further enhancements to the structure of the Counter Terrorism Unit-Japan, or the establishment of a council to consider safety measures for Japanese nationals engaged in international cooperation operations for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Are such matters being considered?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY HAGIUDA: Following the recent terrorist attack, with a view to eliminating terrorism, the Prime Minister issued instructions to further deepen cooperation with the international community and do everything to ensure anti-terrorism measures are in place to ensure the safety of Japanese nationals both at home and overseas. Based on these instructions the relevant ministries and agencies are working to engage in various anti-terrorism measures, including efforts to enhance the collection and analysis of intelligence, thorough border control measures and strengthened security and surveillance at important facilities and soft targets. In addition, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued travel advisories on safety overseas and given instructions to all its overseas diplomatic missions to put their fullest efforts into ensuring the safety of Japanese nationals. I am also aware that following the recent attack, all relevant ministries and agencies are reviewing existing anti-terrorism measures and considering measures that will be necessary in the future. To ensure that this recent tragedy is never again repeated, the Government will do everything it possibly can to implement anti-terrorism measures thoroughly, including in government-related bodies such as JICA, as you mentioned.

(Abridged)

REPORTER : The United States has for the first time imposed sanctions on Kim Jong-un, First Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea. North Korea has responded by calling for the sanctions to be withdrawn and threatening to cut off all diplomatic contact if its demand is not met. At the same time, a senior U.S. government official has expressed the hope that the Government of Japan will also impose similar sanctions. What is the view of the Government with regard to this series of developments and how will it respond?

DEPUTY CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY HAGIUDA: I am aware that on July 6, U.S. time, the Government of the United States announced its intention to newly designate 16 individuals and entities as subject to sanctions for involvement in human rights violations in North Korea. This announcement demonstrates the United States’ strong concerns about human rights violations in North Korea, and Japan welcomes the United States’ stance that seeks to resolve human rights and humanitarian issues. The Government of Japan will continue to cooperate closely with countries concerned, including the United States, towards resolving human rights and humanitarian issues in North Korea, including the abductions issue. Furthermore, the Government is already implementing firm measures against North Korea, including sanctions based on United Nations Security Council resolutions issued to date, as well as measures Japan has taken on its own. In February this year, the Government implemented measures that seek a comprehensive resolution of outstanding issues of concern, such as the abductions, nuclear, and missile issues . These measures included a ban on the entry of North Korean citizens into Japan and a ban in principle on monetary remittances to North Korea. Japan has also banned all exports and imports to and from North Korea and has implemented measures to ban the entry of all North Korean flag vessels and also the entry of third-country flag vessels which have previously called at ports in North Korea . These measures already constitute a very severe response to North Korea and in terms of future efforts, the Government will continue to engage in considerations about the most effective way to elicit a specific response from North Korea towards the comprehensive resolution of outstanding issues of concern, such as the abductions, nuclear, and missile issues, also taking into account measures implemented by the United States and other countries.

(Abridged)

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